057 Becoming a RICS Professional with Ian Jeal

Ian Jeal is the Global Director of Education and Qualification Standards at the RICS. Ian is responsible for RICS’ global university relationships and works with RICS’ technical experts to agree on the criteria and assessment processes for RICS’ professional qualifications.

How to Get Qualified and Join RICS

Being at RICS for seven years now, Ian Jeal has been working for different professional bodies. He talks about getting qualified and joining RICS, and explains different assessments and routes. Ian also emphasized that candidates should declare any special considerations that they’d like to be taken into account, such as neurodiverse challenges.

“There’s more than one way to get qualified,” he explains. “One of the things that we do really well at RICS is we provide routes for people with different backgrounds and experiences. There’s the Associate assessment for those people that haven’t gone through a traditional academic experience, who haven’t necessarily got a degree. There’s the Chartered Surveyor assessments, of which the APC is the most common. We also have an academic route, and we have routes for people with over 10 year-experience who are working in senior management and leadership roles. Essentially, somebody needs to identify the route that’s most appropriate for where they’re at in their career, and put that together with a pathway. That’s our technical route into the profession..”

“The difference between Associates and Chartered Surveyors,” he continues, “is the breadth and depth of technical competence. An Associate has a narrow range of competences that are assessed to a particular depth, whereas Chartered Surveyor covers a wider range of areas. We do have a lot of members that want to progress their career and take the Associate qualification to use it as a stepping stone onto Chartered Surveyor. One of the problems that we’ve had over the years is providing a really clear and easy to understand route for Associates in order to become Chartered Surveyors. And we’ve been working on a new way to do that over the last 18 months.”

“Another way that people can qualify with RICS is through a direct entry route or an approved qualification route. This is where we recognize another professional body or another regulators, or training providers’ qualification, and we calibrate that against our own standards for assessment. When we’re calibrating a qualification for direct entry to Chartered Surveyor, we’ll always look for something similar to the submission requirements to the interview process.”

APC Assessments During the Pandemic 

During the pandemic, APC assessments have gone online. Ian talks about the advantages and challenges of online assessments.

“The vast majority of feedback that we’ve had from candidates and assessors has been positive. This is particularly for candidates not having that anxiety in the morning of traveling to an assessment center. I think there’s a more relaxed approach to it when you can do it in an environment that you’re comfortable with.”

“There is something that’s lost through this medium,” he adds, “It’s different than when we were in the same room together. Yet, the candidates work incredibly hard and there is so much pressure on the interview that to be able to continue running them online is a really good thing.”

What it Means to be an Assessor, Counsellor or Supervisor

Ian continues to explain the roles of assessors, counsellors and supervisors and how to get qualifications for them. Ian also recommends LionHeart, the charity for RICS professionals, past and present and their families, to all APC candidates who want to share some of their experiences.

“Every candidate needs to appoint a counsellor but not every candidate has to have a supervisor,” he explains. “Many candidates have both because there’s a benefit to that additional support. Counsellors need to be chartered – they can be members or fellows. They’re responsible for supporting the candidate through the process, as well as signing off that they’re ready for the final assessment interview. They are there to support candidates with any challenges that they’re facing and to help them understand the process.”

Possible Improvements in the Assessment Process

Ian wraps it up by talking about the possible improvements of the assessment process as a whole, which is the culmination of two years of hard work. He also points that it is important to raise more awareness of all the support that’s available for firms. 

“There’s the assessment interview, there’s education and training, on the job learning, a sign off of that experience, and there’s the ethics assessment that goes towards that fit and proper person requirement that we have set out in the regulations.I think we need to look at that as a whole.”

“There’s a lot that we do that iisn’t well publicized, and some of the firm’s probably won’t know that we’ve got an online candidate support network, there’s the mentoring scheme, there’s Matrix. These are all mechanisms that can support candidates through the process of qualification. And if a firm takes on an apprentice, then there’s additional support provided through that process as well,” Ian concludes. 

Ian Jeal is the Global Director of Education and Qualification Standards at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Ian is responsible for RICS’ global university relationships and works with RICS’ technical experts to agree the criteria and assessment processes for RICS’ professional qualifications.

Connect with Ian Jeal:

– LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/ianjeal6/


– Become an assessor: https://www.rics.org/uk/surveying-profession/career-progression/become-an-assessor/

– Diversity and inclusion information – information on what we are doing to raise awareness and support:https://www.rics.org/uk/about-rics/responsible-business/diversity-and-inclusion/

– Surveying apprenticeships: https://www.rics.org/uk/surveying-profession/what-is-surveying/surveying-apprenticeships/

– Candidate support: https://www.rics.org/candidatesupport

– LionHeart https://www.lionheart.org.uk

– Contact Marion https://lovesurveying.com/contact/